If you do not, it is no surprise, as the media has by and large, failed to fully cover his story from May 9th.
I first learned of his story from this random tweet from the U.S. Embassy Cairo twitter account:
At 12PM, a private US citizen unaffiliated with Embassy was stabbed nearby. The victim is in the hospital. Police have suspect in custody
— US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) May 9, 2013
I queried the account for further info and, of course, received no reply from the person behind it.
But it would seem, wouldn’t it, that from that tweet that the stabbing had absolutely nothing to do with the Embassy.
Except, of course, that it did.
The stabbing didn’t just happen “nearby” the Embassy as the twitter account so cagily writes. It happened AT the Embassy, right at the entrance.
The man stabbed, Christopher Stone, is an American academic, who went to the Embassy to pick up paper work for his wife, and who was there waiting.
Mahmoud Badr was also there, ostensibly waiting for a visa. Except Badr’s reason for being there was a little bit more than a visa. He was there, as he said, to kill an American because he hated the U.S. That was why he went to the Embassy, to find an easy target. As he stood there at the entrance to the Embassy with Stone, he asked Stone if he was an American. Stone confirmed that he was, after which Badr stabbed him in the neck. Sound a bit familiar, given the events of the past week?
You wouldn’t have found Badr’s motivations in Western media, but it can be found on Ahram
Christopher Stone, who is a lover of Egypt, did not think this should discourage Americans from visiting Egypt. However, he criticized the security at the Embassy for its inability to protect against such an event.
A man standing nearby, outside the visa line, had politely asked him if he was American, to which Stone had confirmed – in Arabic – that he was. Less than one minute later, Badr had snuck up behind him and stabbed him in the neck before security guards could react.
“It felt like an electric shock. I didn’t even understand what had happened,” Stone recalled, visibly shaken.
“Though I am utterly thankful for their swift response and the quality of the medical care I was given immediately after the incident, I strongly believe that the embassy needs to review its security protocol,” he added.
“That area should be the safest place in Cairo for Americans, not the most dangerous,” asserted Stone, who had heard from prosecutors that his assailant had also had a Molotov cocktail in his possession, and no passport to justify his loitering outside the consulate.
In a security alert released the day after the attack, the embassy announced that it had stepped up security in and around its parameters.
“The embassy has requested police to elevate their presence in and around all embassy access control points,” the statement read.
Badr is currently in police custody pending investigation on charges of attempted murder.
We are familiar, perhaps, with the events of September 11 of last year in Benghazi. But also on that day, there was a massive “protest”, instigated at least in part, by the brother of al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mohammed at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
So that begs the question.
Why after all that, after Benghazi, after all the pontificating of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “what difference at this point does it make”, was security at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo not increased? Security has actually decreased since Mubarak left in 2011. Why are they only now announcing they are “stepping up security”? Why is it possible for someone to be able to get near waiting Americans at the Embassy with a weapon and without a legitimate reason for being there? What would have happened had Mahmoud Badr used his Molotov cocktail? Why has the government glossed over this incident as though it were unrelated to the Embassy? And as we look at the events over the past week in Britain and in France, does this attack fall into an uncomfortable and dangerous terrorist pattern?